We want to thank Kathleen Listman for her assistance in providing more information on formatting. Kathleen is a member of OWFI and its affiliate Oklahoma City Writers, Inc. She is the Crème de la Crème recipient for the 2017 Oklahoma City Writers contest.

Table of Contents

CATEGORIES 1–29 GENERAL FORMATTING

  1. No author's name, pen name, or other identifying information can be found anywhere on the file or manuscript.
  2. Margins must be at 1 inch (3 cm) on all sides.
  3. Use a 12-point font in black for the entire work.
  4. Times New Roman is preferred for everything but scripts. (Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica are acceptable.) Courier New is preferred for scripts.
  5. Acceptable file types are .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.
  6. General formatting for prose text is listed below. Additional formatting requirement are listed at the beginning of each group of categories.
  7. Maximum and minimum manuscript lengths by word count or page number are listed under each category.
  8. If word count is required: Use the word count on word processor. If manuscript is not on electronic file, multiply the number of pages by 25 (lines per page) and then multiple this number by 10 (words per line).
  9. Nothing should be in footer (even if industry standards say to put information there).

CATEGORIES 15–18 AND 20–29 GENERAL FORMATTING (PROSE)

  1. Title: Located 2 spaces after header, centered, and 2 spaces above the intended work. [Exception for poetry (see below).]
  2. Line spacing: Double-spaced (exactly 24-point).
  3. Font: A single font should be used. 12-point throughout. Italic versions of the font are allowed in all categories. Bold and underline to be used when applicable in screenwriting.
  4. Text alignment:
    • Text should be flush left (ragged right), with no extra spaces between paragraphs.
    • Paragraphs should be indented 0.5 inch (1.5 cm).
  5. Other: Add extra space with # centered on page for break in scene.

ADDITIONAL POETRY FORMATTING (CATEGORIES 1–4)

  1. Title: Located 2 spaces after header, centered or flush left to align with the poem, and 2 spaces above the intended work. 
  2. Line spacing: Can be single spaced, with double spaces in between stanzas as author deems necessary.
  3. Font: Standard font sizes and types required.
  4. Text alignment: Standard flush left (ragged right), unless poem requires flexibility.
  5. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Number of lines (NOTE: Epigraphs and spaces are not part of the line count.)
  6. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number

ADDITIONAL NONFICTION FORMATTING (CATEGORIES 5–10)

  1. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Note: For Category 6 state: Technical Article or How-To Article
    • Number of words
  2. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number

ADDITIONAL FICTION FORMATTING (CATEGORIES 11–18)

  1. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Note: For Category 13 include: Readers Age: 7–9 or 8–12; For Category 16 include: Sci-Fi or Fantasy
    • Number of pages
  2. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number

ADDITIONAL PLAY, FILM, OR TV SCRIPT FORMATTING (CATEGORY 19)

  1. Manuscript for Play, film, or TV scripts must follow industry-standard formats. For an example for basic formatting, please see: Basic Screenplay Formatting – How To Format A Screenplay – 5 Basic Elements: FRIDAY 101.
  2. Title: Located 2 spaces after header, centered, and 2 spaces above the intended work. 
  3. Line spacing: Single spaced but with an additional space between each set/stage direction and between each piece of dialog.
  4. Font: Courier, 12-point font. Italic, bold and underlined versions of the font are allowed.
  5. Text alignment: Generally centered.
  6. The first thirty pages should be submitted. Less may be submitted if the script is not thirty pages in length.
  7. The synopsis should be included at the beginning of the submission and does count as part of the 30 pages. It can be single-spaced and should be no more than 3 pages.
  8. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Note: Include Play, Movie Script or TV Script
    • Number of pages
  9. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number

ADDITIONAL PICTURE BOOK FORMATTING (CATEGORY 20)

  1. Illustrations should not be included with your submission.
  2. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Number of pages
  3. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number

ADDITIONAL NOVEL AND BOOK FORMATTING (CATEGORIES 21–29)

  1. Order of submission: First page should include the following:
    • Header
    • Title
    • Synopsis, outline, or table of contents
  2. Header, first page: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Category name and number
    • Note: For Category 22 include Novel or Nonfiction; for Category 27 include Sci-Fi or Fantasy; for Category 29 include Narrative or General
    • Number of pages
  3. Header, all subsequent pages: Located in the upper right-hand corner and includes:
    • Title
    • Page number
  4. Synopsis, outline, table of contents:
    • Synopsis count as part of the total number of pages, which is listed under each category. The synopsis can be single-spaced. It should be between 1 to 3 pages. Outlines and/or table of contents may be submitted in lieu of a synopsis (for non-fiction categories) and should be single-spaced and follow word length requirements
  5. Chapter headings:
    • Should be 12-point font.
    • Located approximate 3 inches below the top of the page, and centered.
  6. Include the first page through maximum number of pages, which is described under each category.